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Bad Dogs: A Black Cadet in Dixie by Ken Gordon

Intense and finely crafted tale of ethnic disparity, abuse and prejudice…

Exploring racial discrimination and injustice, Gordon centers his story on the friction between rival groups of students – the mainstream White students, who take their privilege for granted, and a handful of Black students, who know that to survive their four years at the University, they have no option but to comply to the demands of the White cadets. Jon Quest, the president and CEO of a large, diversified media and consumer goods company, has achieved it all with sheer determination and will. But he has seen a fair share of inequalities and sufferings. As a young Black man from North, Jon was excited to join the Military University of The South which had an upstanding reputation for excellence. But as a Black student, Jon is forced to suffer from near-constant verbal, mental, and physical abuse at the hands of his White seniors, and the staff is callous and oblivious to the Black student’s plight. In the face of relentless physical and psychological trauma, Jon becomes more and more determined not only to survive but also to help his fellow Black students by preparing them for counterattacks. Throughout the book, Jon along with other boys faces extreme psychological trauma, and his survival depends entirely on his resilience. But despite his struggles and his inner turmoil, he refuses to let the traumatic experiences define him as a person. Jon’s struggles to survive and maintain his sanity are interspersed with chapters from his adult life, showing how the physical and emotional toll of his time at M.U.T.S. still haunts his dreams. This is an age-old theme, but Gordon tells it well, successfully interweaving the chapters form Jon’s past and present and keeping the reader intrigued from the outset. The prose is engaging and precise, and the smooth narrative elegantly unpacks the tensions of the plot. Various credible twists put a new spin on the story of discrimination and abuse, and the characters are relatable and deeply realized. Sharp dialogue and assured storytelling are added bonuses. Interspersed throughout the central narrative of Jon’s story are parts detailing the experiences of other Black students and his own family’s recollections of Jon’s time in the University. Inspired by actual events, this thoughtful exploration of racial discrimination hits the spot. Gordon has delivered a winner.

Bad Dogs

A Black Cadet in Dixie

By Ken Gordon

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Pub date December 16, 2020


Price $4.37 (USD) Kindle edition, $14.99 Paperback

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